Do you know what an earworm is?
Before I answer that, I have another test. I am going to write a phrase and see if you can finish it:
“The best part of waking up is _____________”
“Like a good neighbor, _________________.”
“Give me a break, give me a break. Break me off a piece of that ____________.”
“I don’t want to grow up, I’m a _____________________.”
If you were able to answer most or all of these, then you’ve likely been affected by an earworm. No, it’s not a disease and it’s not alive. An earworm refers to a song that continues to repeat in a listener’s ear after it has stopped playing. Advertisers, like those above, have been utilizing this technique for years. So have teachers. Here’s a challenge – are you able to go through the letters of the alphabet without singing the tune of the Alphabet Song in your head? Or, when you’re looking for a book of the Bible, are you singing the Books of the Bible Song in your head? If you’ve grown up in the church, you also have likely sung many bible verses put to a melody (and can probably start singing some of them right now!)
At the Academy, we call these helpful songs jingles or chants. We use them frequently, especially in the grammar years, to help students quickly recall information they are learning. This is a highly effective tool that not only helps them learn the information, but retain and recall that information over time.
The video below offers a great example of one of the jingles our first grade class is using to learn about and remember their American freedoms.